1706 The Italian town of Abruzzi was destroyed by an earthquake
killing 15,000 people.
1839 The start of the first Opium War between China and Britain.
1843 Nelson's statue was placed on top of the column in London's
1903 Panama proclaimed its independence from Columbia.
1921 * Charles Bronson, US actor who starred in the film The
Magnificent Seven (1960).
1933 * John Barry, English composer of many film scores including
many James Bond themes.
1935 * Jeremy Brett, English actor who starred in the TV series
1948 * Lulu (Mary McLaughlin), Scottish singer who recorded the song
1957 The Russian dog, Laika became the first living creature in
space inside Sputnik II.
1964 Lyndon B Johnson, who took over after President Kennedy's
assassination, won the White House race.
1975 The Queen formally begun the operation of the UK's first oil
pipeline at a ceremony in Scotland.
1976 Jimmy Carter with the "Trust me" slogan was confirmed as the
next President of the United States after a closely-fought contest.
1985 In the High Court in Auckland, two French secret service agents
Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur pleaded guilty to manslaughter and
the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior.
1997 Angry truckers blockaded French ports where thousands of
lorries are at a standstill causing chaos around the country.
2004 George W Bush was elected president of the United States for
the second time.
xxxx * = Date of birth
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